Help Kristine Fight Cancer

Kristine O'Brien was born on July 4, 1979, and has been making people smile every day since. That includes her family and friends, who love her dearly, her coworkers, and her students at the KinderCare Learning Center, who adore her. And most of all, it includes her husband and high school sweetheart, Shawn.

In September of 2018, Kristine found a lump in her abdomen. Today, she's facing round after round of radiotherapy,  a life-threatening surgery, and mounting medical bills. One is  at over $40,000 alone—and the fight is just beginning.

Kristine and her mother, Lauren, on a trip to visit family in New York.

“You are too young not to try. ”

At first doctors suspected Kristine had contracted lymphoma, but a biopsy revealed something else: a large retroperitoneal leiomyosarcoma. In typical Kristine fashion, her first instinct was to bring laughter into the room: “At least its not lymphoma!” she said. But the look on her doctor’s face said the situation was far more serious. Her cancer is rare, aggressive, and tough to attack because of its insidious growth pattern.

The doctors decided that Kristine would need surgery to remove the growth. She was referred to an excellent surgical team who, after a battery of scans and tests, warned that the surgery would be dangerous. The main vessel that returns blood to the heart had been either damaged or destroyed by the cancer, and removing the tumor could cost Kristine her life. To improve her chances, her team of surgeons at the University of Cincinnati opted for Kristine to undergo four weeks of radiotherapy to decrease the size of the tumor prior to surgery.

Surgery is scheduled for March. There will be a team of  four surgeons working for eight hours, and she will be in the ICU following the surgery for between three and five days. Kristine works at a day-care center, her husband Shawn at a restaurant. The medical bills are mounting. And there's a very real risk that Kristine will not survive the surgery. But as the surgical team told her: “You are too young not to try.”

Together, we hope to raise the money Kristine and Shawn will need to help cover the surgery and save their house, her car, and the life she hopes to one day return to. 

Kristine and her loving husband, Shawn at age 18.

Kristine with her brother, Kevin, and her cousins, John and Maggie, in 1987.
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Fundraising team: Kristine's Family & Friends (6)

Jonathan Walsh
Brooklyn, NY
Kristine OBrien
Kevin Graves
Team member
Maggie Walsh
Team member
Melissa Faliveno
Team member
Robert Walsh
Team member

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